COVID-19 pays a visit
Whilst in Sao Vicente our landlord told us building works had started outside our home, alongside removal of the Favela we lived next to, to make way for a hotel. A few calls from Mindelo and we had secured another apartment overlooking Estoril beach. The third home the boys had experienced since our move to Boa Vista six months prior.
Landing back on Boa Vista Ed headed straight to the house whilst we aimed for the beach. Within 2 hours he’d thrown everything into bags and boxes, 2 pick-ups later we were moved into our new pad. The boys, as ever totally unphased by it all. School started the next day and we were soon back into the routine of island life.
It wasn’t all beach and sun. These were busy times. Inspired by our move to Boa Vista and our love of Cabo Verde, in January Ed had started work on a new venture – GoRemote. A startup designed to support people live and work remotely from the archipelago whilst contributing positively to the local economy, community and environment. He combined this activity with his role as CEO of his charity in the UK – which remained partly furloughed allowing him some freedom to play. Days (and nights) were spent on calls, meetings, websites, strategy, business plans, creative – getting everything ready to welcome this new type of ‘corporate nomad’ to the islands. He became insanely passionate about ‘bringing the right people, to the right places, to do the right things’ – meantime I tried my best to remind him we also had kids and a life.
That life just got better when the humpback whales which use Boa Vista’s shallow bays as a nursery put on a private show for the boys and a few friends from school.
We soon settled back into weekends exploring remote beaches by pick up, afternoon pool swims and general happiness. This was abruptly curtailed when Ed realised what he thought was the remnants of one too many beers - turned into something a little nastier. Fever, lethargy, persistent cough, and a positive COVID test swiftly followed.
Shortly thereafter Oz returned from school complaining of being hot and a couple of days after that Katherine was struck down (albeit the virus seemed to show remarkable consideration for childcare issues in its incubation). We quarantined as a family for a total of 14 days in the apartment. The only relief friends dropping us food packages, fresh fish left on the doorstep, and the good fortune that Zeb and Oz’s aunty Jade had sent a package for their birthdays which contained all sorts of cool activities!
We emerged from quarantine with a rather lingering brain fog, lack of smell and taste (which persists for Katherine today), and never so grateful for professional educators and schooling. One unexpected benefit of contracting COVID-19 was that we were immediately excluded from testing protocols to travel. With an upcoming adventure to the Azores for the summer to live, work and explore with Katherine’s parents this could not have been timed better. After several visits to the hospital, we were finally issued with the Health Ministry’s official declaration allowing us to travel without the need for any form of PCR, antigen or lateral flow test.
With six flights to take over the next two months, plus inter island travel this amounted to 32 tests well dodged, and over 1,000 euros banked. Happy days. But we’d like our taste back.